Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) made public last week an e-mail from the Franking Commission — a bipartisan panel that oversees messages from lawmakers — asking him to change the phrase “government run” health care to “public option.” This was reported in a report by CNS News Service.
Carter unveiled the e-mail at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday. At the same conference, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said his colorful chart on “Obamacare” – which was voted into the record on the floor of the House earlier this month – was rejected by the Franking Commission for use in his communications with constituents.
According to Carter,
“Now, why can’t I say what I feel about a plan that I’m being asked to vote upon, that has been debated on the floor of the House on multiple occasions, where multiple numbers of people have used the term ‘government run health care plan?’” Carter asked at the press conference last week.
“In fact, I would submit to you, when you look at this chart, how could you not say it’s a government-run health care plan?” he said.
“Why does the Franking Commission have the right to prevent me from freely speaking what I think my folks back home ought to hear and instead tell me I have to speak what the president said last night?” Carter said, referring to President Barack Obama’s televised press conference at the White House last Wednesday.
“I think that is an abridgement of free speech,” he said.
Republicans are going to fight back.
“Why are they so afraid of this chart?” Carter said. “Why are they so afraid of a simple phrase that one member of Congress might say on a telephone town hall? Could it be that they know what this health care plan is?”
John Stone, communications director for Carter, told CNSNews.com that Republicans are not finished fighting what they call censorship by the Franking Commission.
“We plan to take it to the [House] floor on Monday night,” Stone said. “There is going to be a massive protest.”
“And if they try to stop it with a motion to adjourn, we’re going to go outside and hold our speeches,” Stone said. “We will not be silenced.”